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Crucial Steps to Right a Failed BI Investment

If your company recently made a sizeable investment into a BI and reporting solution and the outcome has left you wondering what went wrong, you aren’t alone.

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Between 70 to 80 percent of business intelligence projects end in failure, according to research by analyst firm Gartner. (Source)

Broken, abandoned, and under-utilized BI solutions litter the corporate landscape.

By failing to take the time to incorporate a few crucial strategies into the BI development plan up front, companies are experiencing back-end gaps that prevent a meaningful front-end experience for the end user.

Failing to Plan Leads to Planning to Fail

When it comes to an effective BI solution, “failing to plan leads to planning to fail,” as Benjamin Franklin wisely stated.

With the promise of harnessing data to inform more strategic decision making, it’s no wonder companies desire to create a strong data culture within their organizations. The possibilities are limitless. But undertaking too much at once can lead to failure.

To initiate and sustain a healthy data culture, it is important to understand the time and investment required to develop an effective BI strategy. Real-time visibility that drives change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process.

Undertaking One Phase at a Time

There are multiple phases of the BI journey and each phase must be completed thoroughly in order to create a solid BI foundation (see our white paper). Undertaking a BI implementation in one fell swoop creates significant room for error.

An effective BI strategy should be broken down into manageable phases to ensure it leads to a successful BI investment.

Phase One: Infrastructure, Data Sources, and Knowledge Distribution

During phase one, develop an infrastructure strategy, understand business processes and workflows, identify critical data sources, and distribute knowledge to key stakeholders.

Phase Two: The Power User, the Consumer, and Connecting Additional Data Sources

Phase two of the BI journey is about empowering business users and connecting any remaining critical data sources.

Phase Three: Leverage External Data and Big Data to Shape Corporate Strategies

During phase three, leveraging data becomes a competitive advantage. Start using the data to make more strategic decisions.

Common Challenges Post-Implementation

After investing significant time and resources into your BI project, you may identify with some of the common challenges that companies face post-implementation.

Common challenges include:

  • Experiencing poor visibility into the data
  • Inability to make timely decisions
  • Dissatisfaction with reporting
  • Dashboards slow to respond and refresh
  • Concern related to incorrect numbers causing reports to be heavily scrutinized
  • Low user adoption of the BI software even after extensive training
  • Dashboard consumption levels are low
  • User trust in the data is diminishing
  • Spreadsheets still dominate the landscape
  • A ‘single version of the truth’ has yet to be achieved

If any of these challenges ring true, don’t dismay. A BI solution is never too far gone. There are steps available to get your BI investment back on track.

Make the Most of Your BI Investment

If your first BI implementation failed, you are not alone. Very few organizations get it right the first time. No matter where you are on your BI journey, there are steps you can take to right your ship, and resources and tools that can help.

Learn more about the Three Crucial Phases that Lead to a Successful BI Investment. In the enSights paper, discover how to harness, consume, and swiftly act upon data to develop your competitive advantage. Following the proven phases outlined in the white paper will ensure your BI investment leads to success.

 

About the Author

Mark Sullivan is a Senior Account Executive at enVista who partners with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams to align corporate initiatives and processes with information technology. Mark has experience working in the enterprise software industry for over 20 years–with a focus on BI and reporting and analytics for the past eight years. Mark has been exposed to hundreds of BI implementations at mid-to-large sized organizations across numerous industries and verticals. To get in touch with Mark, email msullivan@envistacorp.com.

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